STEVE Wilkes has called on the experienced members of his Northwich Victoria side to help them manage games better.

The past two games have seen Vics surrender two-goal leads – in defeat to Squires Gate on November 30 and a draw at Charnock Richard on Saturday.

Wilkes says panicking under pressure has become "a habit we're not proud of" but called on his players to stick together through this tricky spell.

With promotion-chasing Longridge Town visiting Wincham Park on Saturday, kick off 3pm, the Vics boss wants his more experienced players to lead by example.

"We’ll be winning games quite comfortably, then the opposition get a goal back and we seem to panic," he told the Guardian.

"It’s become a habit and it’s not something we’re proud of.

"At the moment, everything that can go wrong is going wrong. We got away with a few things last year but now, we’ve got to dig in.

"We’ve got to roll our sleeves up because you don’t get anything given to you in this league. You have to work for it.

"We haven’t worked hard enough in the past six or seven weeks to put a run of results together and that has to change.

"There were one or two words spoken after the game on Saturday, which is good.

"One or two of the experienced lads were saying we need to learn how to shut games down and see them out.

"That said, the first goal against Squires Gate was offside, Charnock’s second goal on Saturday was offside and the goal we scored in the 92nd minute at Longridge wasn’t offside but was given offside.

"These things are going against us at the moment, but we need to stick together.

"We’ve got an experienced side with not many youngsters in there – we had Tom Powell make his debut on Saturday and at 21, I think he’s the youngest in our squad.

"The older element of the side need to start dragging us through."

Saturday's game sees Wilkes go head-to-head with someone he knows well in Longridge manager Lee Ashcroft, whose side sit just outside the North West Counties League Premier Division's promotion places in fourth.

They also boast the division's leading goalscorer in Paul Turner, who has hit the net 29 times in all competitions already this season.

"I know Lee very well. I’ve known him for nearly 30 years now," Wilkes said.

"I know how he works and how he likes his side to play and he has a very good side at Longridge.

"Paul Turner has got nearly 30 goals this season and they’re on a roll.

"I spoke to Lee earlier this week and he was saying they didn’t play well on Saturday but they won.

"We’re the opposite – when we’re playing well we’re not getting results.

"I’m sure they’ll be in the mix because they’ve got a good mix of experienced players and young lads who have no fear.

"They're a very good side and we'll have to be on it on Saturday."